Want to know how to transform those Styrofoam coffee cups you have and use into uniquely shaped vases? I saw a tutorial on Instructables from a few years ago and was curious to see if it really worked.
Crock Pot or Large Pot w/Lid
Here's what I did:
1. Add water 3/4 full to crock pot set on high or to stove pot w/lid and let water heat up hot or boiling, first.
2. Put a rubber band around a Styrofoam cup. It's easier to start at the bottom of the cup where it's smaller and move the band up. I distorted the first cup trying to put the rubber band on from the top. Also, the tighter you make the rubber bands the greater a unique design develops.
3. Add a small weight (I used a small glass votive) to keep the cup partially down and put in hot water. *Over at Instructables, the directions said to put cup in a small bowl first, but I found this unnecessary in using both the crockpot and large pot with lid. *Tip: I used pot holder gloves and tongs to remove the cups - be careful, the water is extremely HOT!
4. Depending on the type of crockpot you're using (I tried two different ones), with both heating quite differently. One, I left the cup in for over an hour with the following pictured results:
It took a long time for the cup to transform and then it was bending slightly. Don't know if this was from the pressure of the rubber bands.
Next, I cut off the top border and tighten two rubber bands by doubling them twice and put in another crockpot.
With the second crockpot, it only took a few minutes to achieve the results as seen in the picture below. Still, bending slightly, and I didn't do a good job in cutting the foam.
I tighten the bands again and use just one near the top. I put this cup in a large pot, added a weight and put a lid on the pot. The cup took just a few minutes to change. I like this shape much better.
I tighten the bands again, weighted the cup and put this one in the second crockpot that heated hotter on HI than the first. I like this shape the best!
Here's the group of banded cups I submersed.
The experiment of transforming foam cups into vases really does work. Although a bit wonky, and unique. Isn't that what some of us look for in décor? The possibilities are open for adding embellishments like covering the vases with a foam coating to change the texture appearance and adding other mixed media are unlimited. Perhaps I'll try something like that next.
Take a little time to enjoy